October 21, 2021

Iran has replaced the top nuclear negotiator with a hardline leader.

Issued:

Iran has fired its chief nuclear negotiator and replaced him with a deputy foreign minister, state media reported on Wednesday.

Analysts say the reshuffle was intended as a warning that a tougher policy could emerge if negotiations move forward to bring Washington back to a historic place. Nuclear The contract that the former left. We President Donald Trump.

Abbas Araghchi was one of the key negotiators in the 2015 agreement, but his role in the talks will now be limited to the ministry’s adviser, state media said.

“I thank God for allowing me to serve as Deputy Minister in these critical and tense years,” Araghchi wrote in an Instagram post, referring to Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian and his own successor. Wishing you success.

The post of deputy minister will be filled by Ali Baghiri, the bodyguard of the president. Ibrahim Raeesi Who served as his deputy in international affairs when Raeesi was the Judicial Chief.

Raisi became president in early August, taking over from moderate Hassan Rouhani, the central architect of the Iranian side of the 2015 agreement.

The agreement eased Western and UN sanctions on Iran in exchange for tighter control over its nuclear program, which is overseen by the United Nations.

But in 2018, then-President Trump dealt a serious blow by lifting and re-imposing US sanctions.

Trump’s successor, President Joe Biden, has said he wants Washington back in the deal.

But talks in Tehran have stalled since the change of president.

Spiritual Critic

Bagheri, 53, has repeatedly criticized Rouhani for agreeing to allow Iran’s nuclear activities and “foreigners” access to Iranian nuclear plants and other “sensitive security facilities.”

Analyst Mehdi Zakrin said the appointment firmly placed Iran’s nuclear policy in the hands of ultra-conservatives close to Reese.

“At the negotiating table, key figures in the Reisi administration are now the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Mohammad Islami and Ali Baqeri,” Zakrin told AFP.

Bagheri’s appointment should be seen as a clear warning to the West, as the new team may question the full basis of the nuclear deal, and if the US delays its return to the 2015 deal, it will abandon all of Iran’s commitments. Will do. “

Since Raisi became president in August, Iran has suggested that indirect talks with Washington are unlikely to resume in two to three months if the deal is withdrawn.

In recent days, Iran has kept alive hopes for a new agreement with the UN nuclear watchdog on the monitoring of its nuclear sites.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said the move gives time to diplomacy but called for stronger ties with Iran.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken warned last week that time was running out for a deal that would also deal with the reciprocal suspension of many of Iran’s promises.

(AFP)

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